Captain Marvel: The first reviews for Brie Larson's blockbuster are seriously divided

Captain Marvel: The first reviews for Brie Larson's blockbuster are seriously divided

Like Black Panther did a year ago, Captain Marvel is a smarter, more innovative, and definitely more fun origin story, one that plays with 80s and 90s nostalgia while not indulging in it, alongside some great action and a terrific cast that seem to be having the time of their lives. Calling the film "generic" and "among the most disappointing Marvel movies", Ehrlich hated Carol Danvers as an amnesiac, damning the movie for this decision.

When writer/directors Boden and Fleck steer their film towards spectacle, Captain Marvel does go big, especially during the A New Hope style finale, which sometimes suffers from underwhelming CGI splurge, or lack of an indelible character musical motif, but is requisitely thrilling none-the-less. The last third of the film devolves into a series of battles between Captain Marvel and her enemies, but also apparently between the film's editor and cinematographer (visually, these scenes are nearly incoherent), and between the directors and the studio. Broadening representation a bit, she's another type of female hero for women to identify with - the childhood tomboy-turned-scrappy-fighter who routinely finds herself in the midst of trouble. Granted it's taken us ten years and a wealth of Avengers films and origin stories to get here, but the result is worth the wait.

Elsewhere, Showbiz Junkies' Rebecca Murray praises the film for its humour, and for the onscreen rapport between Brie Larson's titular Captain, and a digitally de-aged Samuel Jackson as a scrappy young Nick Fury. She's a member of the Avengers, was the face of one side of the second superhero Civil War, and is a mentor to the new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan.

But like "Wonder Woman", Larson said "Captain Marvel" had to pay more than lip service to women. But what do you do with Captain Marvel?

Entertainmeny Weekly's Dareen Franich said the movie was basically a big, messy adventure - but still a fun one.

Captain Marvel is an "entertaining" and "robust" superhero movie but is not the game-changer Black Panther and Wonder Women were, according to critics.

Indie directors Making Captain Marvel like going to Marvel University
The movie's directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden

The film's most touching moment has nothing to do with the story, but comes during the opening Marvel Studios animated logo.

I didn't grow up reading comic books, and superhero movies weren't my thing as a kid.

"This film allows me an opportunity and a platform to be able to have more flexibility to do more, and I just took that opportunity", Larson told Reuters Television. "Brie Larson is worth the price of admission", writes Kristen Lopez of Culturess, while Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian cites her "fierce performance" as the film's strength. Carol Danvers drives fast because her Air Force co-pilot and best friend Maria Rambeau says she drives fast.

It's probably asking too much for one of the few superhero blockbusters to have a female lead to course-correct an overwhelmingly male-dominated genre. And the movie desperately wants to be a feminist rallying cry, but does little to earn that role outside of having a female main character and playing No Doubt's "I'm Just A Girl" during one of the fight scenes. A warrior without a life, all we know about her is that she tends to let her emotions override her focus, which we are told again and again (and again) is a liability.

If all of this sounds a little goofy while at the same time more than a bit old-hat, then you're pretty much on the money for what to expect here. The pair buddy-cop their way through a complex conspiracy chock-full of callbacks to the earlier phases of Marvel's Cinematic Universe, pausing periodically to poke fun at grunge fashion and the internet's awkward Altavista era. Annette Bening does double duty as research scientist Dr. Wendy Lawson and the avatar that embodies Carol's most admired person whenever she's jacked into the Kree's Supreme Intelligence matrix.

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